Dissertation Index

Author: Hill, David S.

Title: The Persistence of Memory: Mode, Trope, and Difference in the Passion Chorale

Institution: SUNY at Stony Brook

Begun: September 1990

Completed: April 1994


This dissertation is a study of the chorale tune known as "Herzlich tut mich verlangen," "Ach Herr, mich armen Sunder," or "O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden." The dissertation opens with an analysis of the original composition, a secular love song by Hans Leo Hassler (Nuremburg, 1601). The analysis focuses on Hassler's piece in light of contemporaneous modal theories. Depending on which theory is considered, Hassler's piece can be read as transposed Phrygian, transposed Ionian, either, or neither. Seventeenth-century composers wrote their own settings of the melody and emphasized one or another of the tune's conflicting modal claims. J. S. Bach's many settings of the melody are then studied. The role the tune played in Bach's cantatas and Passions is considered within the context of the traditions of setting the tune that were handed down to the composer. This is a multi-disciplinary study that involves music history and theory, as well as Lutheran theology and modern literary criticism.

Keywords: Chorales, History of Theory, Mode, J. S. Bach, Lutheran Church, Cantatas, Passions


Introduction; Chapter 1 - Hassler's Melody; Chapter 2 - Hassler's Melody in the Sacred Vocal Repertoire; Chapter 3 - Hassler's Melody as a Keyboard Piece; Chapter 4 - Hassler's Melody at the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century; Chapter 5 - Bach's Use of Hassler's Melody Before the Saint Matthew Passion; Chapter 6 - The Time of the Sign: Hassler's Melody in the Saint Matthew Passion; Chapter 7 - After the Passion; Chapter 8 - Conclusions: On Mode, Trope, and Difference.


David Hill, 6 Red Cedar Cres., Brampton, Ontario,
Canada L6R 1A8.
Phone: 905-799-0617
Fax: 416-586-8588
E-mail: hill_d@mshri.on.ca

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